A Grateful Heart

A grateful heart is like a seed. It needs good soil, water, and sunshine for it to bloom. I learned this lesson years ago from a stranger.

Back in those days, I had a job as a receptionist in our local paper mill. One morning a young man came in for a meeting with one of our dept heads. There was nobody else in the waiting room, so as he sat there waiting for his contact, we began a conversation. Nice weather…how about that hockey game last night…somehow the conversation turned to education. In those days my education (or lack of it) was always on my mind. I had started university twice and quit. Even though I went to business college and had a good-paying job and enjoyed the benefits this company provided, it was just a job. It didn’t challenge or excite me.

I knew that I had the potential for so much more and felt like I had let myself down. I was married with two young children by then and, at 30, I felt defeated, like my ship had passed me by. Regret and apology for what I could have been, but wasn’t, was always on my lips.

This guy was having none of it. His terse remark cut through my daydream of regret…

“That isn’t true. I don’t believe it. It’s only too late because you believe it.”

The person he was meeting arrived and he left without a backward glance. I never saw him again, but his words have become tattooed on my mind.

You see, back in the day, before I knew better, I who had so much only valued the things I didn’t have.

Why do people believe they have nothing to be grateful for? Because they truly believe they have nothing of value. Nothing that they value.

I give what I receive and when I look around I see what I believe.

Human beings are marvelously creative. It is our birthright. Nobody is born more well-endowed in this regard than any other.

We create in every moment of our lives…consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously. We believe what we see with our own eyes. Our world is the result of our eyewitness accounting of it.

Beliefs are energy. We can’t touch them or contain them, but the connections made in our brain that are the result of pattern recognition and associations that began in infancy – what made sense to us at the time – make them real.

We already knew how to believe, but we were taught what to believe by the people we relied on for survival. The formation of our basic beliefs began in those early relationships.

If I see a world where everything I value comes to me from someone or something, I will believe that I have nothing of value without it. When I believe this, I have nothing to give.

If I see a world where I have everything, I understand my abundance, even if I don’t have it yet, I am grateful for my potential. Then I can see a world of opportunity.

When I believe this, I am open (expecting and accepting everyday miracles aka opportunity). I will give from my abundance, defined as seeing the potential in myself and celebrating it in others.

We become examples of abundance for those who cannot see their own value by our acknowledgment of their potential, and by not accepting anything less.

The words of that young man from back in the day, whoever he was, stuck with me. He will never know it, but he changed the way I see the world.

My present, my future, and looking back…he also changed my past from that moment on.

Thank you, my anonymous friend, for saying what I needed to hear.


Published by Paula D. Tozer

I am a writer, poet and singer/songwriter. I am a Toastmaster, motivational speaker, personal creativity coach, and workshop leader. My most sincere wish is to share my words with others, and that we both benefit from the exchange.

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